Seagram confirms it will spin off drinks unit

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Now that Vivendi, Canal Plus and Seagram Co. have agreed to merge into the Vivendi Universal media conglomerate, executives are looking to dispense of Seagram's spirits and wines division. One possible purchaser of the world's No. 3 spirits company is No. 2 Allied Domecq Spirits & Wine Ltd. The Bristol, U.K.-based company has said it believes industry consolidation is inevitable and that it wants to be the leader in that area. An Allied Domecq spokesman confirmed the company has been talking to Seagram along with other companies. Seagram President-CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. said on June 20 his company has been contacted by several companies but that no deal is imminent. Even if Allied Domecq were to buy Seagram, it would not displace United Distillers & Vintners' Diageo as the world's No. 1 spirits marketer.

Copyright June 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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